Written by Carmela Rodriguez
Carmela is a journalist from London. She"s traveled from Asia to South America, where she got (temporarily) lost in the Peruvian Amazon. She quit the rainy UK and moved to Medellín, Colombia, where she has lived for two years
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So you’re heading to Mexico and want to talk and haggle like a local. Every country has its own, unique slang words, and Mexico is home to some of the largest variations of the Spanish language in the world. Always stay polite, and only use slang if the environment is appropriate. Here are some of the most used Mexican slang words and phrases:
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While the literal translation of ‘cabrón’ is a male goat, its slang meaning is somewhat ruder. It generally translates to ‘asshole’, ‘fucker’ or ‘bitch’. It’s an offensive term and the type of word that shouldn’t be said in front of children. On the flip side, it can also be used in a positive way to say you’re ‘really fucking good at something’, for example, ‘Soy bien cabrón cantando’ would mean, ‘I’m fucking good at singing’.
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5. Buena Onda
The phrase ‘buena onda’ means the equivalent of good vibes or good going. If a place has ‘buena onda’ it means it has a cool atmosphere. A person can also be of ‘buena onda’, which means they are laidback and easy to get along with. Put your Spanish to the test and meet some chilled locals with one these exciting tours in Mexico.
Pinche is a word used to exaggerate or enhance what you’re saying. It translates to ‘fucking’ (in a non-sexual way) and it can be used in the context of phrases such as: ‘My fucking car is broken‘ which would be ‘Mi pinche nave esta roto‘.
Nearly every Spanish speaking country has its own word for a hangover, and Mexico is no exception. The word ‘crudo’, which literally means ‘raw’, is used to describe a hangover in Mexico slang. ‘¡Estoy muy crudo esta mañana!’ means ‘I am really hungover this morning!‘
If you’re a party animal looking to refine your Spanish, see how to say you’re hungover like a local in Colombia with these Colombian Slang Phrases.
11. Chinga Tu Madre
To be reserved for only the most necessary situations, ‘chinga tu madre‘ means ‘go fuck yourself‘. If someone has really made you angry, this is the phrase for you. It can also be used in a more light-hearted way, meaning ‘you’re annoying me, go away’ but again, it depends on the tone of your voice when you say it.
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If you’re heading South and want to refine your Spanish, be sure to read up on the Best Spanish Schools in Latin America and secure a seat to speak like a local.